Planning fall events can present some challenges. Weather patterns can be unpredictable; for example, I recall going trick or treating with my son around 15 years ago and there was always snow and the ground. Now sometimes the snow doesn't arrive until after Christmas.
During the fall at many destinations, one day can be warm and the next can be chilly. There are even instances in which it is bright and sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. The choice of venue is a critical decision for fall event success. The right venue dressed up with fall decor is a must. The key is to design a flexible event at a property that offers the option of pulling the event indoors to a venue that offers protective cover and warmth. Here are some examples.
Many small communities have fairgrounds with existing indoor event and exhibition spaces as well as ample green space for adding marquee tents and pop-up event venues.
Some fairground venues are rugged while other fairgrounds like Toronto's Exhibition Place, where the annual Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is held, have been renovated to create elegant event spaces.
Marquees are a flexible option that can be used at resorts, in conservation areas and on just about any green space. Over the weekend, I attended the Markham Fair and found many examples of the use of marquees. Portable generators (see below) were used to heat the space as the day became cooler.
Log cabins are often located on properties that have ample green space. Many of them have fireplaces that add character and provide warmth when temperatures drop.
Coach houses were once used for coaches and carriages. A number of them have been transformed into event venues with outdoor patios and green space. Many of them have 2 levels, as the upper levels were once used for storage.
For one or my company's regular clients, we used the Coach House at Sunnybrook Estates in Toronto for a fall event. When it became apparent that it would be too cool to serve dinner on the patio, the reception was held on the patio. Guests were safely inside dining on the lower level by the time the thermometer dipped.
After dinner entertainment, an interactive sketch improv show, was held on the upper level. With the separate entrance and bathroom facilities and a dressing areas on the upper level, entertainers were able to set up comfortably without disturbing guests.
Chalets (in conservation areas or at ski resorts during off-season) provide the option of doing outdoor team building challenges when it is warm and moving the group inside for meetings and dining during the cooler parts of the day.
North of Toronto, my company has used the chalet at Bruce's Mill Conservation area for team building and business meetings.
Greenhouses and Glasshouses
Cvent Blog has previously showcased greenhouses and glass houses as great venues for winter events. They also work well for fall events due to the fact that they deliver splendid views of the fall foliage while providing protective cover for guests.
Kortright Centre for Conservation, north of Toronto, is the perfect example of a conservation area with a chalet that is regularly used for weddings, corporate events and team building.
For more tips on planning fall events, also read Corporate Events: Themes and Decor for Fall Events, Event Planning for Changing Seasons: What we can learn from the Dutch, Corporate Events: 8 Rainy Day Event Tips and Corporate Event Venues: 6 Gorgeous Glass Houses.
Photo Credits: Luxury Corporate Events, Executive Oasis International, © Toronto and Region Conservation